Should The Raiders Play It Safe With Their First Vegas Draft?

The time is upon us, the Las Vegas Raiders will be making their first-round selections at this year’s draft today. The possibilities are endless with an abundance of game-changing talent available. With that being said, should they play it safe?

Depending on what playing it safe means, general manager Mike Mayock could trade up and perhaps draft a quarterback, which would certainly send Raider Nation into a frenzy. He can also play it too safe and go all defense in the first round taking into into account how deep the wide receiver class is.

Raiders: What’s The Determining Factor?

Head coach Jon Gruden knows he has to deliver in Vegas and he has to do it quickly. No one expects the Raiders to be Super Bowl contenders in 2020, but being a new team in a new market with a new stadium comes with a certain amount of expectations. However, the real factor in how this draft will unfold is how Raiders brass truly feels about incumbent quarterback Derek Carr behind closed doors.

Related: Should Willy Gay Jr. be on Raiders’ Radar?

If the organization is all in on Carr, the front office will look to get him a number one wide receiver and perhaps add a second receiver with one of their third-round selections. As far as selecting a signal-caller in the later rounds, there’s a quality drop off once the familiar names are off the board, at least not any real threats to Carr’s job. At that point, why waste draft capital when the team has Marcus Mariota and Nathan Peterman on the roster.

All In On Defense?

The aforementioned receiver class could also be a reason the Raiders might opt for defense in the first round. A cornerback and a linebacker, or even a defensive lineman would only add to their defensive improvement, the latter being true with rumors about P.J. Hall possibly being traded. On the other hand, if none of the “elite” receiver prospects are picked up by the Raiders, the excuses by Carr’s supporters, such as him not having enough weapons, will return and lead to another year of speculation.

Whether critics will admit it or not, Carr gives the Raiders their best chance to win right now. Knowing that, Mayock should give him that missing link, a game-changing receiver. Right now, the team has an impressive tight end group, solid receivers minus a number one option, and that scary running game led by Josh Jacobs. As much as some want a flashy trade, the team should stay put and play it safe, oh and no “reach” picks either. Draft your desperately needed wide receiver and get Paul Guenther a starting corner, no-frills, Just Win Baby.

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